This room was originally the women's ward in the ancient Hospital of San Matteo. The appearance of the room in the mediaeval and Renaissance period is documented by a small monochrome fresco by Pontormo, executed at the beginning of the sixteenth century, which is still on display here.
The former women's ward houses a collection of paintings and sculpture by nineteenth-century artists, chosen to illustrate the original connection between the Gallery and the adjacent Accademia di Belle Arti.
The most important nucleus of the collection is made up of the plaster casts by Lorenzo Bartolini (1777-1850), a very important collection of models or replicas of marble originals which documents the intense activity of the artist. As well as the aristocracy and the Italian and foreign upper middle classes, his commissioners also included Napoleon and the Bonaparte family. The layout of the works, a highly suggestive succession of plastic groups arranged along the walls and in the centre of the room, is modelled on the arrangement designed by the artist in his studio in Borgo San Frediano in Florence.
The collection is enhanced by a selection of works from the plaster model collection of the sculptor Luigi Pampaloni (1791-1847), the author of impressive sculptural groups and also of moving infant figures which met with enormous success among his contemporaries.
The paintings are a selection of the works displayed on the occasion of the painting competitions organised by the Accademia di Belle Arti between 1794 and 1868.